Watching the 2007 historic low sea ice flow out of the Arctic Sea

One of the common misconceptions pushed in the media is that Arctic sea ice simply “melts in place”. Much of this is due to the constant hammering of the AGW meme that the “warming in the Arctic” is the primary cause. Here is one of my favorite misconception lines from this WIRED Science article:

With arctic sea ice melting like ice cubes in soda, scientists want to protect a region they say will someday be the sole remaining frozen bastion of a disappearing world.

It is not difficult to imagine how many would think that Arctic ice is “melting like ice cubes in soda” when you see temperature anomaly maps like this one from GISS:

gistemp_after_october_correction

GISTEMP 11-12-08 – Click for larger image

The public (and sometime the media too) often mistakes these for “absolute” temperature and the colors give the impression of a “toasty” area around the arctic, when in fact the temperatures there are mostly below the freezing point. In contrast to that what looks like a heat wave in the Arctic, we have this NASA JPL study that suggests winds may play a key role in pushing Arctic sea ice into lower latitudes where it melts. The author suggests winds may be the dominant factor in the 2007 record low ice extent:

Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

Interestingly we can now watch this actually happen thanks to an animation of AMSER-E satellite 89Ghz sounder images. Koji Shimada of JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology ). See the animation below (note- size is 7.1 MB, this may take awhile to fully load):

arctic_amsr-e_flow_animation-40

If you want more detail, a full sized Video animation is available here as a flash video or here as an AVI file (highest quality 7.3 MB)  A hat tip to WUWT commenter Bill and to Thomas Homer-Dixon for this video.

What is interesting about this video is that you can watch sea ice being flushed out of the Arctic sea and pushed along Greenland’s east coast, where it then finds its way into warmer waters and melts. Also note how in the lower right, in the Beaufort sea, older multiyear ice gets fractured and broken up as winds and currents stress it.

While indeed we can watch some of the Arctic sea “melt in place” during this animation in the fall of 2007, we can also see that winds and currents are a signifcant contributor to breaking up the sea ice and transporting it to warmer latitudes.

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92 thoughts on “Watching the 2007 historic low sea ice flow out of the Arctic Sea

  1. One of the common misconceptions pushed by skeptics is that the 2007 minimum was just a load of wind.

    What doesn’t quite make sense is how this minimum hadn’t been reached in the preceding decade.

    Wind is not the whole picture and yes the thickness of the ice is relevant too.

    REPLY: Did you even read the NASA JPL article? Show me how “skeptics” made that one happen at JPL and you might have a point. I don’t think you read much of it at all, because in no place did the article state that wind was “the whole picture”. But add a wind pattern like seen in the animation with other factors and you can get a greater minimum. But your quickness to bash skeptics is telling that you really don’t see what can be clearly seen in the animation. Old multiyear ice (translation – thicker) was busted up by winds and currents.

    “What doesn’t quite make sense is how this minimum hadn’t been reached in the preceding decade. ” What doesn’t quite make sense is your expectation that it would, can you cite a previous condition of arctic wind patterns that changed in that previous decade?
    – Anthony

  2. That is why the titanic sunk it hit ice from Greenland or the arctic it’s self .
    CO2 sunk the titanic!!!!! lol

  3. JPL announced in the fall of 2007 that this was the reason for the unusual lack of arctic ice that year.

    At the same time Al Gore and other “believers” hammered home their gospel on drowning polar bears.

    The vast majority of people only heard one story. It has only been the cold winters of the past two years that have helped the folks to begin to see that they are being bamboozled.

  4. “Cool” post. *

    Thanks for posting that gem of an animated picture.

    It certainly demonstrates the dynamic climate system that the arctic is part of.

    It also shows how, despite daily “progress,” the Catlin Arctic Survey can be losing “ground” at times.

    * pun intended ;)

  5. It is well known that unusual wind currents were the primary reason for the loss of Arctic ice in 2007. In fact, Arctic temperatures in 2007 were significantly below preceding years. And don’t go by the GISS anomaly map because the arctic temperatures on GISS are not actual readings. Hansen plugs in the temperatures his models say SHOULD be present in the polar regions for GISSTemp maps. So he uses the output of the models themselves to validate the models. It is like a climatic echo chamber.

    Other problems with the GISS maps include spotty and incorrect data. For some reason the data he gets from NOAA is full of “holes” where the data from the same stations are available elsewhere without the “missing” readings.

    What I would be interested in seeing is an overlay of the GISS anomaly with the RSS (GISS – RSS) where the more positive differences are shaded in red and negative differences shaded in blue. Any obviously incorrect GISS data (such as carrying over one month’s data to the next as we have seen in the past) would then show up as an extremely deep color difference centered around the area of incorrect data.

    A month carried over in Spring would show a large negative anomaly between the two data sets and a month carried over in Autumn would should a large positive and (hopefully) very easy to spot positive anomaly.

  6. Chad, can you help me, the low ice in the Arctic of 2007 is quoted by alarmists as the lowest on record, but as far as I’m aware the records began in 1979. I don’t think you can say anything about climate over such a short period of time, perhaps you could tell me why you do. The second issue is that over any period there will be a minimum and a maximum so it’s no big deal that there is a minimum in 2007, perhaps, again you can explain why you would find a minimum significant. Thirdly there is evidence that the Chinese sailed through the Arctic, as did the Danes and on this post there is a story that the US Navy got ships to where there is ice today, what are your views on that.

  7. This is a question:

    What about the tides? I never hear a discussion of the role of the tides in the oceans.

    Are there no tides in the arctic sea? As there are so many inlets and straights, I would expect them to be high there and to help in the break up: if the wind and tides are in the same direction then a maximum break up would occur, the 10% of ice out of the water acting as a sail. Is the break up direction in the Beaufort sea in the same sense as the tides? I am disoriented in this map.

  8. The clockwise circulation pattern is interesting. Maybe this hasn’t been mentioned before:

    http://news.mongabay.com/2007/1113-nasa.html

    “While some 1990s climate trends, such as declines in Arctic sea ice extent, have continued, these results suggest at least for the ‘wet’ part of the Arctic — the Arctic Ocean — circulation reverted to conditions like those prevalent before the 1990s,” he added.”

  9. 2007 was certainly due to this bizarre wind pattern. But 2 remarks are to be done here:

    1- Even though 2007 was exceptional, the declining trend goes on with a quite regular slope – and you can hardly pretend the winds are behind this one.

    2- This year, a similar flux from the central Arctic Basin towards southern latitudes is also observed, which already pushed a lot of 2-years old ice in regions which should be melting during the summer.

    So, what will happen?

  10. anna v (00:06:42) :
    What about the tides? I never hear a discussion of the role of the tides in the oceans. Are there no tides in the arctic sea? As there are so many inlets and straights, I would expect them to be high there and to help in the break up: if the wind and tides are in the same direction then a maximum break up would occur, the 10% of ice out of the water acting as a sail. Is the break up direction in the Beaufort sea in the same sense as the tides? I am disoriented in this map.

    The map is upside down from what we usually see here, with Siberia/Alaska at the bottom and Greenland up top. The Beaufort Sea next to Alaska has a deep basin, and as the Transpolar drift current runs past it, from Bering Straights at the bottom toward the pole, the Basin waters rotate in a big clockwise vortex or gyre, which would help break up the older ice blown in from Asia.

    Darn, I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about (so I won’t ruin the moment by tackling the lack of tides question). Even with the winds blowing the ice against Canada, it looks like the Northwest Passage is protected, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for it to open up briefly.

    Given the scale of the map, it’s surprising to see the ice moving so rapidly.

  11. Chad. What is the reason that you are posting on this site? Is it to provide us with edification? You have not provided anything so far except critique.

  12. @anna v (00:06:42)

    The tide can be up to 16 meters (+/- 8 meters) in the Arctic area (spring-tide)

    Remember the satellites only measure ice mass above 30%, but all below 30 %it’s still there and not vissible on the maps.

  13. If AGW contributed significantly to Arctic ice melt then we should see a correlation between temperatures and melt extent.*

    No such correlation has been shown to exist. And as Crosspatch points out 2007 temps were actually cooler than normal. Hence there is no evidence AGW (in the sense of GHGs or CO2) had or has any role in Arctic ice melt.

    BTW, The reason the Warming Believers go on about Arctic ice melt despite the fact there is no evidence AGW plays any significant role, is that other predicted effects of AGW, particularly warmer temps, simply haven’t materialized. The Arctic ice is all they have. A phenomena Climate Audit labelled the ‘retreat to the ice’.

    *Although if a correlation, were to exist, it doesn’t mean warmer temperatures are the cause of the Arctic ice melt.

  14. The Bering Straights, Alaska, and Siberia are at the bottom of the map, Greenland upper right, upside down from what we normally see. The Transpolar Drift current runs from the Bering Straights straight up to the pole and on past the east coast of Greenland. The Beaufort Sea, next to Alaska, has a deep basin, and as the Transpolar Drift runs past, it rotates the Beaufort in a clockwise vortex or gyre, which helps break up the ice. Don’t think tides play any part.

    The northwest passage seems protected from the windblown ocean ice, so it might be possible to get a ship through there one of these days. Given the continental scale of the map, it’s surprising to see how rapidly the ice is moving.

  15. Some folks seem to be quite sensitive to the prospect of low ice in the late summer in the Arctic Ocean. I found this surprising until recently when one of the top spokesmen for AGW said he didn’t know much about the history of the Arctic but he was sure this low ice level was unprecedented.

    So, I no longer find these remarks anything but ridiculous.

    Consider that in 1817 the President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November reported:

    “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.
    (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”

    Three points are relevant:
    1. The writer seems to think the warming is unprecedented by using the words “. . .cold that has for centuries past . . .” He didn’t know that!
    2. He affirms in the second paragraph that this is a welcome situation;
    3. The year of the report was 1817, about 190 years before 2007.

    I found this statement here:

    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

    . . . where there are pictures of submarines visiting the North Pole during several different years. The USS Skate found open water both in the summer and following winter (1958-59), surfacing in winter at the North Pole through thin ice less than 2 feet thick.

    The next year Earth became so hot it fried people’s brains and all the polar bears died. Oh, wait . . . Sorry, that must have been a movie!

  16. This location still shows up on google. Unfortunately the link is dead. BUT the AVIs there were truly amazing (but big)
    http://polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov/seaice_mp2000.html

    Google results:
    Sea Ice Remote SensingFull Size 1280×720 **; AVI Hi-Res 1280×720 (77 MB) … Developed by: Alvaro Ivanoff Responsible NASA Official: Dr. Don Cavalieri Last Updated: May 15, 2008 …
    polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov/seaice_mp2000.html – 22k – Cached – Similar pages –
    Sea Ice Remote SensingAVI Hi-Res 1280×720 (250 MB) **. 89 GHz Polarization Ratio 6.25 km [640 x 700] … Responsible NASA Official: Dr. Don Cavalieri Last Updated: May 15, 2008 …
    polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov/seaice_amsr.html – 10k – Cached – Similar pages –
    More results from polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov »

    It would be good to trace these AVIs down. If they cannot be found perhaps I could upload them somewhere if people are interested (and it is legal!)

  17. Sorry about the italics in my previous post — there must be a leprechaun twisting and untwisting my letters.

    Anyway, I can’t imagine going onto that ice after seeing it move around.

    The main point I want to make is that ice is quite fragile and would likely crack as an “ice tide” during lift: a tide is the result of being gravitationally attracted to the Moon, and secondarily the Sun. When the two are aligned and the attraction combined we get Spring Tides (nothing to do with the season, Spring) which pull the water up, away from Earth which is pulling down. Earth spins under the raised water. Or ice, as the case may be.
    Being high latitude, this should put an interesting spin on things in contrast to say, the tidal bore on the Amazon River.

    [Reply: WordPress seems to have a bug that sometimes arbitrarily inserts an italics tag right after you close with an italics tag. I try to fix the post if it looks too confusing. ~dbstealey, mod.]

  18. “predicted effects of AGW, particularly warmer temps, simply haven’t materialized.”

    Are you sure?

  19. More on tides in the Arctic:
    http://www.ims.uaf.edu/tide/

    First paragraph, below:

    Data analysis of recent measurements obtained at various locations in the Arctic Ocean indicates a strong energy peak in the tidal frequency band, both in the water and in ice movement. The tide motion, through periodic divergence and convergence of the pack ice, generates mesoscale ice openings. The resulting residual motion sustains polynyas along the Eurasian Shelf. These periodic openings of the pack ice influence heat exchange and enhance the rate of ice production. The ice-tide interaction is also a primary source of the mixing in both the shallow water and the deep Arctic Ocean, where circulation appears to be sluggish.

  20. Note also that when there’s much open water because of unusual winds or currents, the temperature will be higher, so the temperature-ice relationship can work both ways. Nearly all meteorological stations in the high arctic are at the coast and open water nearby will make the usual winter inversion less common.

  21. For goodness sake, those ill-informed among you who maintain (head firmly in sand) that there is no clear trend should try looking at a continuous series of summer ice minimum satellite photos starting in 1979 (the year they became available) and running up to today. Try maintaining then that the summer ice is not in decline. ~snip~

  22. If I see this, the only reason I can think of for the Catlin guys&gals to be out there is to collect calibration data – for which the (Navy?) buoys do a much better job IMHO.

  23. crosspatch (00:03:48) : And don’t go by the GISS anomaly map because the arctic temperatures on GISS are not actual readings. Hansen plugs in the temperatures his models say SHOULD be present in the polar regions for GISSTemp maps. So he uses the output of the models themselves to validate the models. It is like a climatic echo chamber.

    It’s a bit worse than that… From:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/illudium/

    A quote about where GIStemp gets its arctic “temperatures” that it then molests via the ‘reference station method’ by changing anomalies based on “temperatures” (that don’t exist, being a simulation) up to 10 degrees of latitude / longitude away:

    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/

    Analysis Description and Recent Reanalysis

    The optimum interpolation (OI) sea surface temperature (SST) analysis is produced weekly on a one-degree grid. The analysis uses in situ and satellite SSTs plus SSTs simulated by sea ice cover.

    So GIStemp gets it’s arctic “temperatures” from simulations based on estimates of sea ice. I’m still wondering if these estimates used the satellite that was going flakey and underreporting ice… If so, we have a nice self referential prophesy (where satellite gets ice wrong, leading GIStemp to say arctic is warm, “validating” wrong ice report, which “validates” GIStemp …)

    This (from the same NOAA paper) shows ships & buoys not doing much at extreme latitude so that kind of leaves satellites for ice…

    Other problems with the GISS maps include spotty and incorrect data. For some reason the data he gets from NOAA is full of “holes” where the data from the same stations are available elsewhere without the “missing” readings.

    I’m not so sure it’s NOAA that is the issue… At several points the GIStemp code simply throws out data. (The GIStemp link below includes directions for getting the NOAA data directly. It would be enlightening to compare NOAA raw temperatures with GISS maps…) GIStemp truncates data in the past. It hybridizes USHCN and GHCN data, but only after “making up numbers” by adjusting one set over it’s entire history based on changes in the recent history of the other dataset. There are a couple of other ‘throwing data out’ steps, but then it uses “the reference station method” to make up numbers for the ‘missing data’ based on other stations data (that may itself, by this point, be interpolated data) up to 1500 km away.

    IMHO, this is why GIStemp is not a temperture data set, but rather a computer fantasy; and why inspection of the actual data series from any location (such as Pisa under the Italy thread a few months back) compared to GISS gives such bizarre variations.

    For more, see: http://chiefio.wordpress.com/gistemp/

    John F. Hultquist (02:01:21) : Consider that in 1817 the President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November reported:

    Hmmm… Just about “1800 and Froze To Death”, see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

    So we have some volcanos blowing off in a kick up of recent activity and a similar change in sea ice due to changed arctic circulation… I sure hope whatever changes the ocean circulation does not impact on the magma ‘circulation’ leading to more volcanos… I don’t need “2000 and Froze To Death”…

  24. The scary GISS map at the beginning of the article is similar to the map linked below.

    Someone started out with normal colors. Then obviously someone higher up gave him different marching orders, and the final product had lots of scary reds/oranges for exactly the same temps: click

  25. John F. Hultquist,
    “When the two are aligned and the attraction combined we get Spring Tides (nothing to do with the season, Spring) which pull the water up, away from Earth which is pulling down. Earth spins under the raised water. Or ice, as the case may be.”

    I remember visiting the Foucault Pendulum exhibit at the smithsonian many years ago. The short sentence above reminded me of that visit. The phrase “Earth spins under the raised water.” seems counterintuitive, but I can assure you that this is precisely what happens.

    From the Encyclopedia Smithsonian:
    “If you start a Foucault Pendulum swinging in one direction, after a few hours you will notice that it is swinging in a quite different direction. How does this happen?
    Imagine you are in a museum located at the north pole and that the museum has a Foucault Pendulum suspended from the ceiling at a point exactly over the pole. When you set the pendulum swinging it will continue to swing in the same direction unless it is pushed or pulled in some other direction. (This is due to a basic law of nature called Newton’s First Law.) The earth, on the other hand, will rotate once every 24 hours underneath the pendulum. Thus if you stood watching the pendulum, after a quarter of an hour or so, you would be likely to notice that the line of the pendulum’s swing has changed to a different direction. This would be especially clear if one marked the position of the line of swing in the morning and had the pendulum knocking down pegs arranged in a ring at the center.
    At the north pole the apparent rotation would be a full circle of 360 degrees each 24-hour day, or about 15 degrees per hour. This case is fairly simple, because here the earth and the pendulum are not exerting much influence on each other. As you move off the north pole down to a more southerly point like Washington, for example, the earth not only rotates under the pendulum, but it carries Washington, the building, and the pendulum, in a great circle about its axis. That is, the motion of the earth is now mixed in a complicated way with the motion of the pendulum. As you can prove if you watch the pendulum for a while, the effect of this is to slow down the apparent rotation of the swing. Instead of seeming to rotate 15 degrees (about 1/24 of a full circle) in one hour, it only changes by about 9 degrees (about 1/40 of a full circle). The further south you go, the slower the apparent rotation gets, and at the equator there is no rotation at all. Below the equator the apparent rotation begins again, but in the opposite direction.”

    As you watch the animation you can see that the earth is literally spinning beneath the Arctic Ice, which contributes to the breakup, the currents and the winds. The effect is obviously enhanced by higher tides that would raise the ice further above the earth. I wonder if the LOD has any effect here. Also are there any other mechanical aspects of the earth’s rotation that could enhance this motion?

  26. The remarks by chad (23:38:11) would indicate a prime example of someone’s personal frame of reference. Each of us sees the world from our own starting point and estqablishes their views on history and the future from there. Some younger folks can’t understand how we older folks existed without the internet, cell phones, PDAs etc. I am old enough to remember no TV! How about that you whipersnappers!!

  27. You don’t have to watch this video very long to realize that none of the ice is hundred year ice and little of it is over a decade old.

    You also realize that it’s been going on like this for a long time.

  28. “With arctic sea ice melting like ice cubes in soda, scientists want to protect a region they say will someday be the sole remaining frozen bastion of a disappearing world.”

    Now, I wonder why they chose soda for their simile? It couldn’t possibly be because it’s pumped full of carbonic acid, which (supposedly) is what we’re doing to the oceans via our burning of fossil fuels, thus pushing another of their favorite alarmist memes? Nah.

    Scientists want to protect a region? That’s a laugh. The only thing they (AGW “scientists”, that is) “want to protect” is continued government funding as well as their own careers pushing alarmist pseudoscience. The only thing scientists are supposed to want to do is science, a fact they seem to have conveniently forgotten.

  29. While the rhetoric from NSIDC makes me cringe, they do have some excellent materials available. This first one is an animated alternative to the video posted, but shows the ice outflow from 1981 to 2007:

    This second on shows the circulation patterns in the arctic ocean:

    http://nsidc.org/seaice/processes/circulation.html

    The combination of these currents and winds eject massive amounts of new and old ice each year. One study I read recently cited 2.9 million km^2/year, + or – 600K. To my surprise, most of this occurs during the winter, showing how powerful the wind and currents are, and how fragmented the ice pack is. I will try to relocate and post later.

  30. That is just about one of the most interesting animations I have ever seen. Thank-you for finding and posting it!

  31. I have a question. In the Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph on this page, I am assuming that the sea ice extent includes windblown (and jumbled up) sea ice, in which case it becomes a measure of not just the ice that is formed, but how it gets moved around. Is that correct?

    Thank you all for the education I have been getting over the past several months.

  32. This is a great animation.

    One can clearly see the ice flowing out with the wind-driven ocean currents.

    But it is difficult to see from this animation where the ocean currents are flowing into the Arctic basin to replace the surface ocean flowing out.

    At different times you can see a little coming in from the Pacific, but the ocean is too shallow there to have much of an ocean current. At times, it appears currents are flowing in from the North West Passage but this area is not normally known as having strong ocean currents flowing into the Arctic.

    There is some movement in from Bering Sea north of Norway but it is not much.

    Then I found this graphic of arctic ocean currents which seems to match up with some of the movements.

  33. Very interesting — Of course, education, which your posts do, is not the goal of the AGW alarmist and their media propagandists. Too bad, because the technology man now posses is capable of educating people about some of the most interesting things in our world.

    Misused, it is likewise capable of misdirecting, and forcing erroneous conclusion.

  34. Could the ice over the arctic be one of the negative feedbacks that’s not accounted for in the IPCC model? The feedback would go something like this. Global warming (manmade or natural, take your pick) increases the general strength of the winds on a global basis or at a minimum changes their patterns. During the summer, the ice is forced out to sea by these changes in wind patterns and melts, lowering the temperature of the ocean waters which in turn lowers temperatures over land (which I believe we have been seeing since the ice started declining in the arctic earlier this decade). This leaves a greater % of open water at the arctic during the winter to freeze up again. Since water with wind blowing over it allows for faster heat transfer than ice with wind blowing over it (due to stronger mixing of waters at the surface vs the weaker thermosiphon that would form below the ice, as well as the ice acting as an insulative layer to retard the heat being transferred between the water and air) more heat can escape the oceans and be radiated out into space during the winter, thus producing negative feedback in response to warming.

    I haven’t read the IPCC model. Maybe this is accounted for. Maybe things don’t work this way. It’s just an idea to kick about, but the animation and the degree to which it shows the ice moving sparked the idea. Until I saw that, I really had no idea how uniformly in direction and how fast the ice had been moving out into the open water. I had this picture of the ice being mostly stationary, moving a few miles but that it was more of a back and forth rather than running out the chute into the ocean. Obviously a misconception after seeing the animation.

  35. I wonder if they were to print these graphs in their personal inkjet printer they would use such colors, of course they are happy to do it with YOUR money.

  36. Flanagan (02:30:45) :

    “predicted effects of AGW, particularly warmer temps, simply haven’t materialized.”

    Are you sure?

    I can hand-pick datat too, no rise in temperature since 2000 and decline since 2001:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend

    Your graph started in a year with a volcanic eruption, and contained a 2nd volcanic eruption a few years later…both causing significant cooling. Isn’t anything less than 30 years was just weather anyway? IMO, less that 60 years is probably weather.

    1- Even though 2007 was exceptional, the declining trend goes on with a quite regular slope – and you can hardly pretend the winds are behind this one.

    Records start at the end of a cold period. “Real” skeptics agree we have warmed in 1979…PDO was in it’s warm phase, and the Sun was very active. PDO is now negative since about 2001, and the Sun is as inactive (or worse) as it was around 1912-13 minimum (COLD). Global temps (RSS, UAS, GIS, HADCRUT3) have dropped since 2001 at .1c/decade even with the el nino of 2006:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2001/plot/wti/from:2001/trend

  37. Flanagan (00:36:09) :

    1- Even though 2007 was exceptional, the declining trend goes on with a quite regular slope – and you can hardly pretend the winds are behind this one.

    It all depends where you start point is. For example if we take a longer term view, then we can see that the trend is clearly one of increasing arctic ice.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/21/researchers-find-arctic-may-have-had-less-ice-6-7000-years-ago/

    You can hardly pretend that AGW is behind this one.

  38. The video clearly shows the ice breaking up not melting. It is driven out to lower latitudes where it melts somewhere else. It would be nice for the modelers to factor this transport of heat into their computer models along with hurricanes. Nature’s way of balancing the heat around. Cool video.

    For you trolls who keep posting comments without facts: I wonder why this is happening?

    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/ask-the-experts/population/

    The experts say the Bears are increasing in numbers.

  39. I read somewhere that the reason Siberia shows a current high temperature anomaly goes back to the Soviet communist era. The allocation of fuel in the winter was a function of how cold any particular place got. So it was common practice to report the temperature to be several degrees C colder than it actually was. Since that time, temperature reports have become more accurate.

  40. Wow, very nice video.

    No wonder the polar bears are clinging to the ice… it is so dynamic up there they they need to cling so they don’t fall.

  41. Anyone know of any good analysis of arctic rim station data vs. reported datasets? Looking at admittedly dated information from:

    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm

    the eyeball test shows only no to moderate warming. Yet all temp data sets show significant arctic warming during the recent past. I’m trying to rationalize this apparent (?) discrepancy, but haven’t located anything yet.

  42. I think there is a need of choosing a standard set of colours for representing temperatures, because in the above graphic north east Canada it is burning up and Siberia has already melted down.

  43. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7998501.stm

    “It’s never wise to imagine that either man or technology has the upper hand in the natural world,” he said. “It’s truly brutal at times out here on the Arctic Ocean and a constant reminder that Mother Nature always has the final say.”

    They should apply the same argument to climate change.

  44. The article says: “”All the indications are of huge change, and a huge response is needed if you want to have polar bears beyond 2050,” said Peter Ewins, the World Wildlife Fund’s Director of Species Conservation.

    And the Patron of the WWF says:

    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
    as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
    – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
    patron of the World Wildlife Fund

  45. Bill Illis (05:29:28) :

    “But it is difficult to see from this animation where the ocean currents are flowing into the Arctic basin to replace the surface ocean flowing out.

    At different times you can see a little coming in from the Pacific, but the ocean is too shallow there to have much of an ocean current. At times, it appears currents are flowing in from the North West Passage but this area is not normally known as having strong ocean currents flowing into the Arctic.

    There is some movement in from Bering Sea north of Norway but it is not much.”

    Here is a link to the same graphic but with more detail of actual flows from the various currents:

    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

    Scroll down about 2/3 of the way into the website and it will pop up. The major flows come in from the Atlantic through the Barent’s Sea. It’s almost 5x times the inflow through the Bering Straits

  46. What an excellent animation. It is often difficult to piece together general flows of both water and ice from static illustrations.

  47. Hi M. Yates,

    Errr, I actually don’t see what you’re trying to point at… What is the point in looking at a situation where there were no emission to “prove” emissions have no effect?

    Let’s take a simple example. If you pour tons of acid on Muir woods, it will disappear. Now, one can easily show that sequoia already disappeared in the past, without the need to put acid on it. Does that mean the acid has no effect?

  48. Mike Bryant (04:04:47) :
    In the quoted text regarding a Foucault Pendulum the part that says “This would be especially clear if one marked the position of the line of swing in the morning and had the pendulum knocking down pegs arranged in a ring at the center.”

    Usually the setup has small figures of some sort such as light weight bowling pin shaped figures in a circle at a distance away from the center of the display. Near the maximum extent of the ball’s swing – just as it is about to reverse directions, it can gently knock over one of the pins, as the pin moves into position via the rotating Earth.

    The Encyclopedia Smithsonian seem just a little confusing on the above.

  49. Jack Green (06:23:19) :

    Sorry Jack but from the link you gave I can’t find the view that bears are increasing. I see statements that spin the facts and surround them in fog so that they can ensure continued funding for their organisation for a few years to come.

  50. Speaking of education, with the proliferation of TV networks, it seems that these posts make excellent screenplays for a real education in climate. Can you imagine a weekly program that brings the truth of many of these otherwise little-known subjects? Now can you imagine that series with the all the beautiful and awe-inspiring images and sounds that we have come to expect from Discovery ot TWC? Now can you imagine that earthly majesty covered without bias? I can hardly believe that no one has pitched this to some network somewhere…

  51. Clearly the use of colors in temp graphs, hockey stick like projections, falsifying and erasing historic climate data and events, adjustments and alarmist climate reporting is all part of the disinformation strategy.

    What is new here?

  52. chad (23:38:11):

    One of the common misconceptions pushed by skeptics is that the 2007 minimum was just a load of wind.

    It’s not a misconception. Wind is determinant even for the load of CO2 upwelling from deep ocean to the atmosphere:

    J. R. Toggweiler. Shifting Westerlies. Science. Vol. 323, No. 5920, pp. 1434-1435. 13 March 2009.

    From the article:

    If there was a response to higher CO2 back then, it paled in comparison (Talking about the past 50 years of “warming”).

    I suggest the reading of the whole article, so you could see how some things escape to biased peer review and cannot be flawed.

  53. What a great video. Not only for the motion of the ice, and the forces of its demise, but the aforementioned perception of the earth spinning beneath the water too. It must take unusual conditions for the ice to maintain a great extent, like an ice age. But wait, glaciation of the NH is normal some 90% of the time in the past 500Ky. On a longer time scale, it is unusual to have a NH ice cap at all. Aron, I was struck as well by that comment, it is in Anthony’s new post 4/15.

  54. Steve: it’s not “my graph”, but the 1995 IPCC predictions. Of course you can find similar projections in the IPCC 2000 and IPCC 2007 reports, but showing that we’re actually at the temperature predicted 16 years ago is a nice thing, IMO.

    Sometimes the temperature is above the projection (el nino 98), sometimes it is less than the linear trend (la nina 2008), but overall the underlying trend is there.

  55. John F. Hultquist (08:17:05) :
    You are correct the words ARE confusing so here is a youtube video af a Foucault Pendulum:

    Not very exciting but it is illustrative…

    Mike

  56. Hey, wattaya know, the oceans are cooling.

    Two separate studies through NASA confirm that since 2003, the world’s oceans have been losing heat.

    Then there’s this from a couple of years ago:

    A painstaking analysis of surviving genetic fragments locked in the ice of southern Greenland shows that somewhere between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago, the world’s largest island had a climate much like that of Northern New England, the researchers said. Butterflies fluttered over lush meadows interspersed with stands of pine, spruce, and alder.

    But the discovery of organic matter in ice dating from half-a-million years ago offers evidence that the Greenland ice shield remained frozen even during the earth’s last “interglacial period” — some 120,000 years ago — when average temperatures were 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are now. That’s slightly higher than the average temperatures foreseen by most scientists for the end of this century, although some environmentalists warn it might get even hotter.

    I like that obligatory final sentence in that last paragraph required to remain “politically correct” while the rest of the article pretty much says that it is a load of hooey.

  57. The Arctic Sea Ice is a very small part of the climate system of earth.

    Can anyone here imagine that the GCMs are capable of capturing even a tiny bit of the complexity and chaos of the Arctic Sea Ice in summer?

  58. Flanagan: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on time frames.

    1990-2007: .22c/decade
    1995-2009: .11c/decade
    2000-2009: 0.0c/decade

    Which one matches IPCC projections?

    AR4 predicted .1c/decade if CO2 stayed at 2000 levels, and .2c/decade with annual increases (next 2 decades). CO2 is rising FASTER than expected, and there is 0 change in global temperature since 2000. It better warm up fast for this decade (2000-2009) to hit the .2c increase the IPCC report projects.

    From Wiki: “The growth rate of global emissions after 2000 has been about 3%, while the growth rates under these emissions scenarios is between 1.4% and 3.4%. This has attracted attention and could be evidence that these scenarios are too conservative.”

    AR4 doesn’t mention El Ninos, La Ninas, or the PDO in it’s report. So far this decade, temperatures have followed the negative PDO.

  59. Flanagan wrote:

    Steve: it’s not “my graph”, but the 1995 IPCC predictions. Of course you can find similar projections in the IPCC 2000 and IPCC 2007 reports, but showing that we’re actually at the temperature predicted 16 years ago is a nice thing, IMO.

    However, if you take out the GISS data, the trend would be flat from 2001

  60. GISS data updated on 1/13/09 states that all GHGs together cause 0.035w/m^2 (remember, CO2is a very minute part of this) of warming.

    They are also kind enough to show that solar irradiance is down from 2003 levels by a full watt/m^2

    Anyone want to tell me that the CO2 is causing climate change?

  61. Yeah, it’s so great to make a climatologic trend over 9 years… Ever been to a geophysics/statistics lecture? Or ever heard of high frequency noise?

    In order to get a statistically consistent trend, the error/trend ratio must be sufficiently low. If you try to do a trend over 9 years, or even 10 years, the error will be as mage as the trend itself, in other words this all means nothing… For what I remember, 15 years is typically the lowest bound.

  62. Geo-engineering, John Holdren, Global cooling, Sunspots, Dust

    Playing God with the Weather Will Outdo Mother Nature’s Worst Nightmares

    By Dr. Tim Ball Monday, April 13, 2009

    Actions without thought or concern for the consequences are the pattern of the day as political agendas trump facts or logic. Consider the dangerous and baseless proposal to offset global warming by adding particulates to the atmosphere. It was in the news as a strategy, albeit a last resort, from a member of the Obama administration.

    Many factors cause climate change, but only a few are considered in the current scientific debate and most are based on estimated or inadequate data. Even fewer factors or data are part of the political debate including how the amount and nature of aerosols in the atmosphere affect the amount of solar energy at the surface and in the atmosphere. The proposal to add particulates to offset warming is the environmental equivalent of adding to the debt to get out of debt, only worse. Despite this politicians demonstrate their lack of knowledge of the science by proposing to play God. Maybe they should wait until there is enough space debris to block the sun and cause cooling.

  63. Re: Flanagan (08:07:38) :

    “Errr, I actually don’t see what you’re trying to point at… What is the point in looking at a situation where there were no emission to “prove” emissions have no effect?

    Let’s take a simple example. If you pour tons of acid on Muir woods, it will disappear. Now, one can easily show that sequoia already disappeared in the past, without the need to put acid on it. Does that mean the acid has no effect?”

    From your example, it appears that you believe that the correlation between anthropogenic CO2 and the late 20th century warming trend is as unambiguous as the correlation between tons of acid and the hypothetical deforestation of Muir Woods. With this belief, then the preceding sentence makes sense.

    For me, the correlation between anthropogenic CO2 and the late 20th century warming trend is less clear. So examples of periods since the last ice age that are warmer than at present are highly relevant. Whatever the mechanism that led to those other warm periods may have been operative in the late 20th century and may be a more important forcing function than anthropogenic CO2.

    I agree that such prior warm periods do not “prove” that anthropogenic CO2 has no effect on climate. However, until the mechanism for the prior warming is explained and incorporated into the current understanding of climate science and, yes, the models, then people like me who see far more pressing global social concerns will remain skeptical of the need to spend vast sums to reduce CO2 emissions.

    BTW, there seems to be a huge cognitive disconnect in this type of exchange. Those who are passionate about the peril posed by Anthropogenic CO2 are seemingly completely uninterested in these prior warm periods and the fact that we are heading into another ice age. People like me who see the current interglacial as a blip in geologic time are unconcerned by a few degrees of warming that is similar to other warming episodes that have happened in the past few thousand years.

  64. Mrs Claus,
    A quote from the article above:

    “Recent studies have found that temperatures would reach the threshold for dangerous climate change if they rise by an additional one degree Celsius.”

    I just looked at my thermometer and realized that it is an additional one degree Celcius warmer than it was yesterday!!!
    I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight wondering how I and my woodland friends will die….
    Thanks,
    Mike

  65. “Sorry but the cooling has been “corrected”
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php
    And all future cooling will be “peer reviewed”. :)
    Now that is funny.”

    Any and all data that does not conform to expectations will be adjusted, corrected, homogenized and tortured until it begs for forgiveness and signs this form:

    I’m sorry. I was wrong. signed… The data.

    It appears that torture is ok in some limited circumstances.

    (I know that data is plural, but it just don’t flow like that.)

  66. If flanagan had pointed to the article from which the graph was pulled…

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001319verification_of_ipcc.html

    Then people would have been able to read Pielke Jr writing…

    “2. The IPCC actually has a pretty good track record in its predictions, especially after it dramatically reduced its 1990 prediction. This record is clouded by an appearance of post-hoc curve fitting. In each of 1995, 2001, and 2007 the changes to the IPCC predictions had the net result of improving predictive performance with observations that had already been made. This is a bit like predicting today’s weather at 6PM.”

    DaveE.

  67. I wonder if anyone here knows whether the Pacific currents that entered the Arctic Ocean in 2007 were warmer or colder than those likely to enter this summer.
    Thanks in advance,
    Mike

  68. Hi Chad.

    You seem to be cutting your teeth in the debate, so here’s a heads-up.

    I won’t speak for them, or pretend to know their minds, but it seems the good folks on this blog responding to your comments are being firm though gentle; choosing civility, to their credit.

    But make no mistake. If you and I were to “debate” in person, my choice of discourse will be ridicule, civility be damned, and heaping helpings, too.

  69. Mike Bryant (17:36:01) :
    I wonder if anyone here knows whether the Pacific currents that entered the Arctic Ocean in 2007 were warmer or colder than those likely to enter this summer.
    Thanks in advance,
    Mike

    Check it out:

  70. Phil.
    It looks like there is a warmer zone south of the Bering Strait that wasn’t there in 2007. It’s slightly cooler near the strait but that is not very much water… I am looking forward to the progression of the minimum. Anything can happen.
    Thank you,
    Mike

  71. Flanagan (08:07:38) :

    “Errr, I actually don’t see what you’re trying to point at… What is the point in looking at a situation where there were no emission to “prove” emissions have no effect?

    Robert (16:44:57) has already done a good job of answering you comment, but just to ram the point home, it’s not up to me to prove that emmisions have no effect, it’s up to you to prove that natural cycles are NOT responsble for the fluctuations we see in the climate today. After all, we can see there is absolutely nothing unusual about todays climate by looking at the past, so the rational response is to deduce that these natural changes are continuing. That is before you get to all the empirical evidence that contradics man made AGW theory. Until recently the AGW camp was hiding behind long term (100 years in the future) style predictions for our doom. Fortunately they’ve started giving more short term predictions of drastic changes to scare us, such as Gores ice free Arctic in about 4 years from now. This means we won’t have to wait too long now to see how utterly wrong they are.

  72. Re Nick Yates (20:36:24) :

    Drat, I wish there was a preview option on this board. Moderator, could you correct my tag so that only Flanagan’s comment is in italics? Thanks.

  73. Mike Bryant (20:14:01) :
    Phil.
    It looks like there is a warmer zone south of the Bering Strait that wasn’t there in 2007. It’s slightly cooler near the strait but that is not very much water… I am looking forward to the progression of the minimum. Anything can happen.
    Thank you,
    Mike

    That warm zone is due to the ‘PDO’.

  74. “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
    as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
    – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
    patron of the World Wildlife Fund

    Thats hate speech. Doesn’t Britain have laws against hate speech? Thats also threatening to commit genocide. Someone get him a KKK application form.

  75. “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
    as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
    – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
    patron of the World Wildlife Fund

    Hrrummph a wonderfully grumpy statement. Although the Gaians have claimed the quotation, there is nothing in the statement itself to say which part of the population he’d target.
    Frankly it’s fairly tame compared to a pre-coffee morning me.

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